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  • Writer's pictureArizona Contractor & Community

U.S. Department of Energy Selects Kohler Co. to Pioneer Commercial Scale Decarbonization Solution in Company’s Largest Manufacturing Plant in North America

Funding, matched with Kohler Investment, will Create High-Quality Jobs,

Decrease Emissions, and Support Local Casa Grande, AZ Economic Development

Kohler Co. has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations to begin award negotiations for up to $51.2million to demonstrate commercial-scale decarbonization solutions to help move energy-intensive industries toward net-zero. Selected as one of 33 projects in the U.S., the funding will be matched by Kohler investment to support the Electric Boiler & Microgrid project at its manufacturing site in Casa Grande, Arizona.


“This funding will allow us to accelerate our Net Zero GHG commitment across scopes 1 and 2 by 2035,” says Laura Kohler, Chief Sustainable Living Officer. “It will also have many positive impacts on the community, including at least 90% reduction in the pressing process emissions, and 400 new full-time jobs.”


Kohler is nearing completion of a manufacturing facility, ancillary warehouse, and office space on 216 acres in Casa Grande. The multi-million capital investment comprises a total of approximately one million square feet, with room onsite for future expansion, and will bring more than 400 new full-time jobs to the local market.


As part of the project, Kohler proposes to install an electric boiler and microgrid system and expects the upgrades to prevent at least 7,865 MT CO2e from being released annually. This represents a reduction of at least 90% of the pressing process emissions by eliminating CO2e emissions from natural gas boilers. Kohler plans to: replace natural gas boilers with electric boilers, install a 21MW solar array microgrid, utilize long-duration energy storage (LDES) batteries with 68MWh of storage, and install 12MW of HVO-capable KOHLER industrial backup generators. The LDES batteries coupled with advanced microgrid controls eliminate all possible solar curtailment scenarios and enable the facility to run the boilers on renewable energy while performing solar smoothing, thereby reducing carbon emissions.


Kohler Energy businesses will support the effort. Kohler Power Systems will supply the HVO-capable industrial backup generators; Clarke Energy – which developed the energy solution – will manage the engineering, procurement, and construction work; and the facility will utilize Heila Technologies leading microgrid control capabilities.


"This is an exciting project for our Energy businesses to work together at Kohler’s largest plant in North America," said Brian Melka, Group President – Kohler Energy. "As governments, businesses, and individuals look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, we're likewise pursuing ways to positively contribute to decarbonization through new technologies and advanced engineering to develop solutions that utilize clean energy sources.”


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